Duck eggs

This summer, turn to another bird for your eggs. 

I’m going to lay it on the line: It’s about time we switched up our egg game, and with farmers’ markets in full swing, it shouldn’t be difficult to find more unusual but equally delicious options such as duck eggs.

What is it?

Duck eggs are the closest alternative to chicken eggs. They’re approximately 50 percent larger than large chicken eggs, with a larger yolk and a clear, runny white. On the outside, their thick shells range in color from muted grays, greens and browns to mottled whites, protecting an interior that boasts intense, rich flavor when cooked.

What do I do with it?

Duck eggs can do everything chicken eggs can do, but size does matter. When baking recipes call for two large eggs, stick to chicken eggs – because of their larger size, duck eggs can throw off your ratios and wreak havoc on your favorite cake or cookie recipe. Instead, enjoy them poached, boiled, scrambled or fried; their yolk-heavy richness will make it feel like you’re making something special. Duck eggs are common in eastern Asia, especially in Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines, where either the whole eggs or the yolks are salted and cured and used inside mooncakes, in congee or grated over all manner of vegetable, noodle and rice dishes as a savory element.

Hunt for duck eggs at your local farmers’ market, or call local farms to see what they have to offer. Out of season, most Asian markets will still carry fresh duck eggs, alongside quail and sometimes turkey eggs, and you’ll also find salted duck yolks there if you want to experiment with those.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

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